The folks at Redfin reached out to me recently and asked if I’d share my top tips on how to create a bird sanctuary in your backyard.

I loved this idea… and came up with my top 6 tips tips, a few not quite so mainstream that I thought they might enjoy.

In the end, they used one of my sentences.😉

I guess that how it goes when 21 stellar birding organizations from all across the country offer their best tips as well.

I was honored to be included in their article no matter what.

To read my tips...You will find them below.

If you’d like to check out the Redfin article, just click this link…Feathering The Nest: Expert Tips For Creating a Backyard Bird Sanctuary.

Backyard Bird Sanctuary with sun rising through the mist

I like to think outside the box when it comes to creating a thriving bird haven for your backyard. A lovely way to begin, is to visit your local Audubon center or nature preserve that supports birds.

Observe what is working, what inspires you, and what would be most suitable for your unique backyard.

After you’ve allowed your observations to sink in…


  1. If You Plant It, They Will Come – This means more than simply options for food, nesting, and shelter, though these are essential. It also includes roosting, bathing – both dust and water – and singing perch options.
  2. Native Plants Are Key– Seek out a native plant nursery in your area for a diverse range of local native plants. Aim for a nice mix of trees, shrubs, grasses, and flowers with staggered blooming times. Select plants that produce berries, seeds, nectar, or will be home to insects throughout the year, as these are all important food sources for birds. Berries being an easy favorite for both people and birds.
  3. Water Features Rule – Bird baths and fountains are an excellent alternative or addition to bird feeders. Especially in parts of the country where bears and rodents can be a concern. Pro tip: Ensure the water is fresh, shallow, moving or bubbling and is placed on or very close to the ground.
  4. There’s No Place Like Home: Install a birdhouse or nesting box designed for specific bird species like blue birds, Purple Martins, Barn Owls or Wood Ducks.
  5. Mimic Mama Nature: Allow plants to go to seed and dry stalks to stand until the following spring. This may be hard for some folks, but the birds will love it.  For Bonus Points – Join the “No Mow May” movement.
  6. Think Long-term: Enjoy the journey. It may take time for birds to discover your thriving new bird haven, but soon enough, word will spread and you’ll be the coolest house on the block.

Cultivating Deep Nature Connection, Mentoring Bird Lovers, and Teaching Game-changing Skills

Front cover of Identify Any Bird Anywhere Book

Take Your Passion to the Next Level

A girl who fell in love with a bird’s song.

I am the founder of Bird Mentor, a resource for live and online courses helping people worldwide build confidence learning about birds and the natural world. Through my courses, students are immersed in the principles of instinctive birding, deep nature connection, bird language, and my innovative model for advanced bird identification.

In addition to my online courses I teach birding at traditional skills events like Rabbit Stick, Winter Count, Saskatoon Circle, Buckeye, Sharpening Stone and for amazing organizations like the Boulder Outdoor Survival School, The Women’s Wilderness Institute, Crow Canyon Archeological Center, The Vermont Wilderness School, Flanders Nature Center, Eight Shields and The Powerhouse Science Center.

A few years ago I helped to found the Dipper Project, a research study designed to look at the effects of the Gold King Mine spill on avian life in the Animas River in Colorado. I’ve also lead tours for the Bosque del Apache Sandhill Crane Festival, Mesa Verde Bird Festival, the Durango Bird Club and The White Memorial Conservation Center.

During a real bird nerd phase, I helped to band birds on Great Gull Island, focusing on the Roseate & Common Terns, as well as migratory birds at Oxbow Preserve and hummingbirds at Mesa Verde National Park.

In addition to geeking out about birds, I’m also a Naturalist, Herbalist, and Photographer and made contributions to the new Peterson’s Field Guide to Bird Nests and ABA’s Birder’s Guide.

I love receiving your stories and questions if you have any. So, please send me a message whenever you like.


Kristi Dranginis